On the 25th of April, 2022, The Open Group released the TOGAF version 10. This is a major milestone not only for The Open Group but for the whole Enterprise Architecture industry and all practitioners. Being the go-to standard for Enterprise Architects, the tenth version of “The Standard” has been desired for a long time. It also has to meet high expectations.
Who is Behind The TOGAF Standard 10?
The publisher of TOGAF 10 is The Open Group, a global consortium developing open, vendor-neutral technology standards and certifications. The Open Group members come from many large, global organizations from different industries, including IBM, Oracle, Huawei, and Philips. This ensures that frameworks and best practices developed are also relevant across industries. All in all, TOGAF is the most important source for Enterprise Architecture content that one may consult.
The History of TOGAF — What´s the Significance of the TOGAF 10 Release?
The first version of TOGAF was released in 1995. Version 9, the last major update, was released in 2011. In 2018, a minor update was released as version 9.2. Being a minor release, version 9.2 did by far not sufficiently address the tremendous changes that happened in and around IT in the last decade. In 2018, I analyzed the changes between TOGAF version 9.1 and 9.2. I concluded that few substantial improvements had been made to address the Digital Transformation as a whole.
As a result, the importance of TOGAF declined, new sources for Enterprise Architecture best practices emerged, and especially questions about topics such as Digitalization, Cloud Computing, or Agility were answered by other sources than TOGAF. Still, everyone waited for the next big release of the TOGAF version 10, to provide answers to those questions from their perspective.
The release of the TOGAF version 10 on the 25th of April, 2022 marks a significant milestone for The Open Group and the whole Enterprise Architecture community.
What is TOGAF 10?
Above all else, version 10 of TOGAF is a restructuring of the Enterprise Architecture content to make the Standard easier to read, consume, and also to manage, and update. The key to this is a further modularization of the content. This modularization already started with version 9.2, where the TOGAF series guides were initially introduced to provide additional content on topics that change more often and become outdated quickly. In contrast, the TOGAF Standard size was reduced from over 692 to 532 pages and only contained content that is pretty stable over time and does not need to be completely changed every few years.
With version 10, The Open Group went further down this path. More content has been removed from the core content and added to the TOGAF series guides. In addition, the TOGAF Library, which holds further, quite useful content and has been continuously growing over the past years, has been officially added to the overall TOGAF content overview. The result is a picture that looks like an onion and has the most stable content in the center and quicker changing content in the outer layers.
The Content of TOGAF 10
The TOGAF Fundamental Content is split into 6 separate documents, which are:
- Introduction and Core Concepts (88 pages)
- Architecture Development Method (ADM) (154 pages)
- ADM Techniques (88 pages)
- Applying the ADM (36 pages)
- Architecture Content (120 pages)
- Enterprise Architecture Capability and Governance (64 pages)
In addition, the TOGAF Series Guides cover lots of content that previously has been in the Standard itself, but is now published as a separate guide. In addition, there have been completely new guides added — a few of them already in the past months:
- Business Architecture
- Information Architecture
- Security Architecture
- Enterprise Architecture/Agile Architecture
- Enterprise Architecture/Digital Enterprise
- Technology Architecture
- MSA/SOA Architecture
- Adapting the ADM
Last but not least, the TOGAF library contains further documents supporting the TOGAF Fundamental Content and the TOGAF Series Guides. For instance, the library includes different translations, guidelines for specific industries (e.g., capability maps), and more subjective documents, as well as whitepapers, webinars, study guides, and reference cards.
What is New in TOGAF 10?
According to The Open Group, most changes to TOGAF address the restructuring of the content into modular pieces of digestible documentation. However, this is not the only notable change. I did not have the chance yet to go through all the content in detail. However, after first studying the new material, I noted the following changes in particular:
TOGAF Series Guides are now Part of the TOGAF 10 Standard
While in 9.2, there was the TOGAF Standard and the TOGAF Series Guides, the latter is now an official part of the TOGAF Standard. While the TOGAF Series Guides previously were further supporting material outside the Standard, this role is now taken by the broader TOGAF Library, providing further, faster changing, content.
TOGAF Architecture Layers are Moved to The Series Guides
A major aspect of the old TOGAF was the explanation of the different layers. In version 10, the layers of business architecture, information architecture, and technology architecture are moved to the series guides. As part of business architecture, the topic of business capabilities moved from the fundamental content into the series guide. This underlines the intention to move topics that might be less stable (e.g., definitions, importance, approach) into the series guides and out of the fundamental content.
Security Architecture Becomes an Incremental Part
The topic of security architecture has been added to the same level of importance as the other architecture layers. Yet, it has not been added to the Architecture Development Method (ADM).
Digital and Agile are Now Part of TOGAF 10
More modern topics, such as Digital and Agile are now addressed within the TOGAF Standard. Each now has its series guide.
Information and Data Content Has Been Added to TOGAF 10
The available content about information mapping and master data management increased significantly.
Broader Audience of TOGAF
The new version tries to become relevant to a broader audience. It provides steps and content for a particular audience. Also, the IT focus of some chapters has been removed to become relevant for business as well. For instance, around the topic of EA Capability and Governance.
Quite some definitions have been added (e.g., a definition of a product or a digital architecture), changed, or removed.
There are surely more changes hidden trends in the new version, which I will write about after I had the chance for a detailed review of TOGAF 10.
Is TOGAF 10 Worth It?
My initial impression of TOGAF 10 is very positive. Let´s summarize the arguments:
- The Open Group has managed to cut the TOGAF Standard into smaller, better digestible pieces. The new modular structure makes the content much easier to grasp. Different organizations with different architecture styles can also better choose what to consider and what not.
- The core content of TOGAF has been further consolidated so that overall consistency increased and redundant content has been removed. Content that is likely to change quickly over time has been moved to the TOGAF Series Guides so that the TOGAF Fundamental Content increases in overall importance and relevance.
- The new structure allows new content to be added more frequently to the TOGAF Standard by simply releasing new TOGAF guides. This is also done outside the normal release cycle of the Standard to address new, emerging ideas.
- Several new concepts or topics that tremendously increased their importance over the past years were added, refined, or described in more detail. Those include most topics mentioned above, including the concept of architecture scenarios, information management importance, and customer master data management.
All in all, I am positively surprised by the new version. Especially the modular structure and the inclusion of the further content created by The Open Group into the wider TOGAF Standard (e.g., many “How-To” guides) make it an extremely valuable piece of content for all Enterprise Architects.
TOGAF 10 Certification
At this point, there is no information on how the release of TOGAF 10 impacts the TOGAF certifications. It can be taken for granted that there will be new training requirements and new trainings for TOGAF 10 available soon. However, it is not yet clear if someone who is certified in a previous TOGAF version needs to redo the certification. I assume that there will be a shorter exam for those who are certified in TOGAF 9, which will mainly address the restructuring of the content and the few new concepts. As soon as there is new information, I will provide them.